Jora Nelstein
Art Tiny Interview Series

Meet Jora Nelstein, A Self Taught and Intuitive Artist

1. What do you do?

My preferred medium is working with acrylic paint, which I apply on canvas, metal, wood and paper. Most of my work is abstract but tends to have a landscape feel. The one thing that always comes back are my woman figures, sometimes on their own but mostly as a tapestry inside or part of abstract surroundings. I am a self taught and intuitive artist, meaning, I can start something with only an initial thought of a color palette in mind. In this zone, I try to keep an open mind and just do. Of course this allows for many works that I’m not happy with, but the satisfaction of creations I like is a boost of serotonin.  

Since Covid I started giving doodle classes via zoom, here I’m more of a guide then a teacher, for everyone can doodle. Surprisingly, with most people having more freedom now to spend their Sundays outdoors, the classes are still continuing. It’s very relaxing and totally critique free, just an hour of creating. Students from all over the United States and Europe joined, ages from 6 to 80 year old, beginners to professional artists.  I’m always impressed with the outcome. Making it your own is one thing I keep repeating.

Jora Nelstein Art
Jora Nelstein – Tapestry 1B
26 x 30″ Acrylic on canvas


2. Our motto is Be Bold, Explore Courageously – what does that mean to you/ how has that applied to you?

My big roll of canvas will arrive soon and painting a truly large one is an exploration and bold move for me. Up Till now, my large pieces are diptychs and triptychs. Lately I am venturing out of my comfort zone with live videos on Instagram, where I do live paintings and have special sales. I’m also thinking of bringing on other artists and even visiting my collectors homes. Next new exploration will be playing around with collages, I am totally inspired by some of the collage works i see around, check out Nancy Goodman Lawrence.

Jora Nelstein
Jora Nelstein – Detail of 90 x 48″ triptych
Acrylic on canvas

3. What is your creative outlet or passion project? Where do you find inspiration?  

My inspiration can come from anything. Other artists work, a picture sent to me by my sister from a beautiful Dutch sight with its amazing lightfall. A color in the sky. A neighbor walking in her morning gear to the corner store with a cigar in her mouth. It’s mostly things I feel with my senses and spark an emotional response.

4. If you could have a business lunch with anyone, a mentor, (alive or dead) who would you invite and why?

A collaboration with the greats would be too intimidating and so would defeat the purpose, for all I would do is freeze up. I’d rather be a fly on the wall while they are creating and having the ability to peek into their minds while they step back to watch their process and contemplate their next stroke. Artists like Hilma af Klint, Moebius, Romare Bearden, Frida Kahlo, Gerhard Richter, to name a few.

Jora Nelstein Art
Jora Nelstein, Reflection
12 x 12″ – Acrylic on aluminum
(Prints are available)


5. Favorite motivational quote?

Don’t have one. But I tell my students and myself, “ Don’t be too critical, it’s not about creating a masterpiece, it’s about creating. Allow yourself to be surprised”.


6. After the pandemic, where do you want to travel first and why?

Going home to The Netherlands, getting spoiled by family and friends. Soaking up the Dutch landscape, being emerged in childhood memories sparked by sights and stories. Being reminded by the Dutch culture of ‘work to live, not live to work’. Inspired by the great museums and that art is for all, it’s such a common part of most Dutch households.

Jora Nelstein Art
Jora Nelstein, Untitled
18 x 24″ Acrylic on paper

7. Where can we see more of your work? 

My website offers original works, but also more affordable high quality prints on fine art paper, metal, canvas and wood. For unique gifts I do have some works on Tote bags. For first sign ups I offer a 15% discount. www.joranelstein.com

My instagram shows a big part of my life as an artist, from original works to doodles. @joranelstein

To join the Sunday doodle class, all I need is an email address to send the zoom link to joranelstein3@gmail.com
This is a donation based class.

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